Capilano University: Student life on campus
An insider’s guide to the best place to live, campus food and more
Alisha Samnani, 27: Interdisciplinary studies
Why did you choose Capilano?
One thing that piqued my interest in CapU is its interdisciplinary studies program, which gives students the freedom to explore whatever they like. Most courses are electives, so it’s great for people who aren’t sure what they want to focus on in their studies.
Describe some of your best experiences so far.
Writing for the Capilano Courier—and seeing my name in print—is something I never would have imagined myself doing when I first started university, but I wish I had done them sooner. My experiences at the paper have allowed me to meet more people and attend more events than I probably would have on my own. In terms of classwork, I highly recommend an interdisciplinary studies course called Reconciliation in Action as well as any course in the women and gender studies department.
Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
CapU offers plenty to do when you’re not in class. If you like to write, draw or take photos, you might consider contributing to the Capilano Courier, which pays students for their contributions. If you prefer to express yourself out loud, groups like Toastmasters or the Capilano Radio Club may be more up your alley. If you’re passionate about politics, you can run for a position at the Capilano Students’ Union or join one of their many advocacy efforts.
What do you think of your professors?
Most instructors are fantastic and incredibly supportive. They’re super easy to talk to, and do their best to help when students are struggling. Attending office hours can be intimidating at first, but conversations with my professors during office hours have been some of the greatest I’ve had during my time at CapU.
What do you think of the school’s administration?
Signing up for classes is pretty simple, and typically you can get into the ones you want or need right away or after a week or two on the waitlist. Some admin staff are helpful; others, not so much. Cross your fingers and hope for the best.
What is off-campus life like in Vancouver?
If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, you’re in luck: there are hiking and mountain biking trails minutes away from the North Vancouver campus, as well as some of the best ski and snowboarding resorts around. We’re also a short bus ride away from both Park Royal mall and downtown Vancouver—perfect if you’d like to do some window shopping or grab a bite to eat during a break between classes.
If I wrote the school motto: ‘If you like it, then you better put a mural on it!’
Best place to live: Purcell Woods
Best place to study: Behind the Fir Building or out on the pier, if you have a class at the Lonsdale campus
Best campus events: Captivate and Clubs Day
Weirdest tradition: Presidential Cup Pong
Best campus food: The Austin Grill is a staple on campus
Best cheap lunch: Akebono Sushi inside the quay
Best pizza: Bowen Island Pizza Company
Best place for a fancy dinner: Pier 7 Restaurant & Bar
Best giveaway: Tuition vouchers
Best bar for hanging out: Seymour’s Pub & Grill—students get a discount!
Best live music venue: BlueShore theatre
Best hangover breakfast: The Austin Grill
Best place for a nap: Second floor of the library building
Best weekend activity: Grouse Mountain
The thing that surprised me most about the school: The number of people you’ll meet—even though we’re a commuter campus
If I could change one thing about the school: Longer operating hours for on-campus food services